Qatar Holding acquires minority stake in Airtel Africa’s business
LONDON: Airtel Africa has signed an agreement under which Qatar Holding LLC, an affiliate of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), will invest $200 million in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV), a subsidiary of Airtel Africa Plc, a statement said.
The Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV) is the holding company for several Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations; and ultimately is intended to own and operate the mobile money businesses across all of Airtel Africa’s 14 operating countries.
The transaction values Airtel Africa’s mobile money business at $2.65 billion on a cash and debt-free basis. QIA will hold a minority stake in AMC BV upon completion of the transaction alongside other minority investors, with Airtel Africa continuing to hold the majority stake, it said.
Following the announcement on March 18, 2021 of a $200 million investment in AMC BV by TPG’s The Rise Fund, on April 1, 2021 of a $100 million investment in AMC BV by MasterCard and the sale of the group’s telecommunication towers companies in Madagascar and Malawi on March 23, 2021, the transaction is a continuation of Airtel Group’s pursuit of strategic asset monetisation and investment opportunities, and it is the aim of the Airtel Africa to explore the potential listing of the mobile money business within four years.
The proceeds from the transaction will be used to reduce the group debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries, the statement said.
Operating under the Airtel Money brand, Airtel Africa’s mobile money services is a leading digital mobile financial services platform catering to a large addressable market in Africa characterised by limited access to formal financial institutions with limited banking infrastructure and includes mobile wallet deposit and withdrawals, merchant and commercial payments, benefits transfers, loans and savings, virtual card and international money transfers.
Mobile money services are available across the group’s 14 countries of operation; however, in Nigeria, the group offers Airtel money services through a partnership with a local bank and has applied for its own mobile banking licence.
It is the intention that all mobile money operations will be owned and operated by AMC BV, it added.
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